06/02/2004 11:00PM

Pick of the Pack is pick of the pack


ALTOONA, Iowa - Pick of the Pack may prove to be just that when she squares off against six other 3-year-old fillies in Saturday's $50,000 Panthers Stakes at Prairie Meadows.

Pick of the Pack is the only stakes winner entered in the Panthers and exits by far the toughest race, having finished fourth, beaten 6 1/4 lengths, in the Grade 3 La Troienne at Churchill on April 29 for trainer Bernie Flint.

A daughter of Lil's Lad, Pick of the Pack's stakes win came when she rallied from well off the pace for a half-length victory at Calder in the Lindsay Frolic last August. That race is the only time that Pick of the Pack has run at Saturday's one-mile distance. Flint has given the riding assignment to Tim Doocy, who won all three stakes here last weekend.

Pick of the Pack, who has won three of her 10 career starts, figures to come from off the pace in the Panthers and should benefit from a solid early pace.

One improving foe is Josh's Madelyn, who tries two turns for the first time. After going 0 for 5 as a 2-year-old, Josh's Madelyn has blossomed this year and won 3 of her 4 starts, including her last two by open lengths against allowance company for trainer Larry Jones.

Terry Thompson has a return call on Josh's Madelyn, who figures to be a pace factor while stretching out in distance.

Defuhr is the race's only other three-time winner; she has a career record of 3-4-3 from 11 starts for trainer John Wainright. She enters the Panthers off a gate-to-wire half-length win over Illinois-bred allowance company at Arlington Park on May 21. Defuhr's regular jockey Chris Emigh will be in from Chicago to ride.